Heritage Centre opens this month minus crucial exhibit

The team at the new Maritime Heritage Centre at Newbiggin by the Sea seek help from PBO readers to locate the town’s missing lifeboat.

At the Northumberland centre, which opens on 21 July, pride of place is given to the lifeboats which served the community over the years.

But one remains missing: the Liverpool-class Richard Ashley, in service from 1950-1966 when she was replaced by Newbiggin’s last RNLI all-weather lifeboat.

The Richard Ashley was last heard of in the Isle of Luing, renamed Kirstey and painted red and gold. The then-owner’s widow believed the boat to have gone to Shapinsay in the Orkneys but appeals there have drawn a blank.

The Liverpool-class lifeboats were 10.8m (35ft 6in) long with a 3.2m (10ft 6in) beam and an engine room, though many were later removed. Richard Ashley, a twin-screw version, had a build number on the stem post – 511, possibly with G or G&G over.

Information leading to the lifeboat’s recovery would be rewarded by a trip in the 101-year-old Whitby rowing lifeboat, the William Riley.

Please contact Dave Charlton at dave.jch@btinternet.com or 01434 320863 if you can help.